"Your blood pressure is 140/90, ma'am, are you feeling ok?, Have you taken your maintenance medication?" These were the words that the nurse blurted out after taking my blood pressure. Initially, I was shocked, it was the first time that I've heard those numbers, I always had a normal BP.
I have been at a hospital clinic just to have a check-up with an endocrinologist but upon seeing that I have a high blood pressure, the nurse insisted that I also check with a cardiologist that same day. After my consultation with the two doctors, I went straight to the laboratory and diagnostics for a series of test that were required by the doctors. After the results were released, I went back to my doctors and both of them have some bad news to me. Let me start with my Endocrinologist, "Your blood sugar is high and you have hypothyroidism". I was expecting this bad news. I had stopped medications for my thyroid for 2 years and what about my high blood sugar?, well, I had eaten too many pastries for the past months, I bake what can I say.
Next, my cardiologist, "All your test results are fine except for your blood pressure". I told the doctor that I had normal BP readings from my daily monitoring, I don't know what causes it every time that I'm in the hospital. Maybe, I was too nervous and stressed out because I don't know how to deal with it.
To sum it all up, both doctors wanted me to take up a maintenance prescription for my high blood pressure and blood sugar. Since I don't like taking medications because of the side effects, I begged them to give me a month to change my lifestyle habits and to improve my health. If I fail after a month, I promised them that I will take the medications. Since it was the first time that I had these kinds of problems and my test results were still borderline, they both agreed to it but gave me another series of lab test to to be done before I see them after a month.
From my experience, here's what to expect when you're over 40...(to some of you it may be earlier)
- Blurring vision - even if you're 20/20 throughout your young adult life (just like me). I got my reading glasses at age 42.
- Back pain - you start to feel pain every time you bend your back
- Numbness in your arms and hands - felt like your hands are always tired
- Rise in blood pressure and blood sugar - they always say it's associated with age and family history
- High Cholesterol
- Memory loss - slowly I'm beginning to be forgetful and can't seem to remember what I'm supposed to do or say.
- Take care of your eyes - avoid exposing it to harsh environments.
- Do not smoke - you may not see the effects now, but once you get older be prepared for the ill effects of it ( I should know, my dad died because of complications resulted from smoking)
- Exercise, don't be a couch potato - I'm guilty of this one, I'm an exercise freak before, but a few years back I got depressed and it led to my sedentary life for a year and now I'm paying the price.
- Eat healthy food - eat your veggies, stay away from junk and fried foods. Aside from not exercising, I gained weight and has high cholesterol from eating fried food (oh, how I love eating KFC hot and crispy)
- Read the label - when doing your grocery shopping or buying food, read the nutrition facts about the product. Before I only check if it has high calcium and vitamins, you should also check the sodium, cholesterol and sugar contents of the product you're buying in order to guide you if it's within the recommended daily allowance.
- Stay positive and be happy - We all experience problems and trials in life and we can't run from it. Keep yourself surrounded by positive people, those who can help you improve your self and be a better person.
Just remember, Prevention is still better than cure. Take it from me.